FDA Warns Canada Dry, Lipton Against Making Health Claims On Green Tea Drinks

Canada Dry and Lipton have been yellow-carded by referees at at Food and Drug Administration, who have warned the beverage makers of making unauthorized nutrient claims on their green tea drinks.

First, the FDA fired off a missive to Canada Dry parent company, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, about Canada Dry Sparkling Green Tea Ginger Ale. The agency says the drink, which is classified as a snack food because it’s carbonated, is breaking the rules by claiming it is “enhanced” with antioxidants. Also, says the FDA, those ingredients the producers claim to contain antioxidants “are not nutrients with recognized antioxidant activity.”

And then Unilever, the parent company of the Lipton brand, got some scorn from the FDA over its Lipton Green Tea 100% Naturally Decaffeinated drink. The FDA says the beverage is treading dangerous ground by by linking consumption of green tea to reduced cholesterol for people at risk of heart disease. The agency told Unilever that when a product makes a claim like that, it then becomes a drug, meaning it would need to prove its efficacy and safety.

This news comes only a couple weeks after a study showing that bottled teas are probably nowhere near as antioxidant-rich as they claim to be.

FDA warns green tea makers against health claims [L.A. Times]